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A Taiwanese based research group has developed a speaker technology that can be worked into paper allowing for ultra thin devices, or even talking posters. "A lot of companies are interested in this product," said Chen Ming-daw, a research director at ITRI. "We don't have enough people to handle all the attention right now."
The new technology is being called Flexspeaker because in addition to being paper thin, it can also be rolled up or folded. Right now the goal for minimum sheet size is around 23.6” by 17.3”, and would cost roughly $20 USD each. Unfortunately this is too large to be used in our magazine, but that doesn't stop us from dreaming of the day when our pages can sing “Still Subscribe” to our beloved readers.
According to the researchers, the paper is made by sandwiching thin electrodes that receive audio signals and a pre-polarized diaphragm into the paper structure. Right now an adapter is required between the sound source and the paper, but plans are in the works to allow any stereo source to connect directly to the paper or even wirelessly over bluetooth. The primary limitation of the speakers at this point, is that they have problems with sounds below 500hz. This means that the heavenly baritones of our very own Nathan Edwards would need to be augmented by adding a subwoofer.
Where can you see this technology being used?